The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is the first modern Horror Film and it influence a number of contemporary productions.
A real classic!
A man named Francis relates a story about his best friend Alan and his fiancée Jane. Alan takes him to a fair where they meet Dr. Caligari, who exhibits a somnambulist, Cesare, that can predict the future.
When Alan asks how long he has to live, Cesare says he has until dawn. The prophecy comes to pass, as Alan is murdered, and Cesare is a prime suspect.
Cesare creeps into Jane's bedroom and abducts her, running from the townspeople and finally dying of exhaustion.
Meanwhile, the police discover a dummy in Cesare's cabinet, while Caligari flees.
Francis tracks Caligari to a mental asylum. He is the director! Or is he?
Director:Robert Wiene Producer:Rudolf Meinert and Erich Pommer Production Company:Decla-Film-Ges. Holz & Co. (Berlin) Sponsor:k-otic.com Audio/Visual:silent, black & white Keywords:Silent; Fantasy; Horror; German Expressionism Contact Information:www.k-otic.com
wow, that was a really cool flick. the movies' distorted look gave it an eerie feel and presence. silent and black and white. excellent. enjoyed it very much. thanks.
February 13, 2010 Subject:
Excellent, excellent silent flick. Truly creepy. I can't praise this movie enough; you should just watch it.
November 1, 2009 Subject:
A real treat!
This is one of the most beautiful and influential horror films of all time. Even if you're not into silent films, watch this. You will have so much more out of classic Universal, Hammer and Burton films afterwards.
A true classic and a real treat. Proof that public domain movies can enrich your life.
October 29, 2009 Subject:
I like this genre so I enjoyed this film. It's not really scary (like Nosferatu) but still sort of creepy and weird. Silly me, at first I thought that decorations were cheesy but then I got it that they were made this way to resemble those "distorted" odd expressionist paintings. The twisted end is also cool and unusual for that time. And I'd never tell that the actor who played Cesare the Somnambulist also played Major Strasser in "Casablanca", some 22 years later!
Reviewer:carlo subterfuge -
August 23, 2009 Subject:
Why the Silents Lived Expressionism
The history of this film's gift of an epitomic German Expressionism to the silent film world is wrell documented in Cinema Europe. No one dug the vibe more deeply than the Brits.
Its also an essential film for its sourcing readymade 'ersatzen doppelganger' pop star persona. Imagining Peter Murphy without Cesare? It's like Michael Jackson without the 'Little Prince' Bob Fosse sequence.
August 9, 2009 Subject:
Man I'm still thinking about who is the lunatic. A great movie.
August 4, 2009 Subject:
This Same movie is listed in 1001 movies you must see before you die
another film i've not seen for years (the last time was a poor vhs copy whilst at college). it casts a shadow over so many films that have borrowed from it.
Reviewer:B-Movie Ben -
April 9, 2009 Subject:
You fools, this man is plotting our doom! We die at dawn! He is Caligari!
A German Expressionist classic with warped sets, lots of shadows, and heavy makeup, this is one of the first modern horror films.
It is also one of the first serious films with a "twist" ending. You never are really sure of what is going on, and you are soon caught up in trying to figure out who is committing the murders.
Two men, Alan and Francis, are rivals for the same girl, Jane (Lil Dagover). After visiting a circus with Dr. Caligari (Werner Krauss) and his somnambulist Caesar (Conrad Veidt), Alan (Hans Heinrich von Twardowski) is murdered. Suspicion, of course, falls on the somnambulist. When the murderer comes to kill Jane, he takes her instead.
After chasing the murderer, Francis (Friedrich Feher) ends up at an insane asylum, where he discovers the Caligari secret.
The creator of this movie is certainly a genius,his vision is truly original. The working of the mind, the bizaar sets that put you in lah lah land with the somnambulist. He is played by Conrad Viedt who made many American movies as a spy or Nazi officer in the 1940's. The most memorable,probably the only memorable, example is his portayal of Colonel Strasser in Casablanca.
Reviewer:dracula lugosi -
October 6, 2008 Subject:
no its the full length
its just played at a faster frame rate
but its still nothing short of a masterpiece
Reviewer:Brian Pinette -
October 5, 2008 Subject:
This is an hour condensed version, specifically edited/restored for TV during the late 1950s and 1960s. It tells the story and cuts out a lot of the narrative. However, there are "Complete" versions available from many sites. Check out moviesunlimited et cetera. This, however, is superbly edited and restored and GETS TO THE POINT and maintains the aura. PERFECT for beginner silent film enthusiasts ....
Reviewer:Vance Capley -
September 29, 2008 Subject:
Close the Cabinet before it ends!
Great horror look and feel! Really creepy! Many directors STILL borrow from it today!
Turn it off, though, before the end, trust me!
Bizarre all through the movie. It reminds me of some of the strange dreams that I've had over the years so I can relate. Abstruse is the word that comes to mind. I enjoyed the film greatly. Well made and it gets the imagination and sight juices flowing. A haunting movie that will stay with you for some time to come. Thank you for posting this movie, it is much appreciated.
March 7, 2007 Subject:
Could've done without the shell.
A great movie that is everything everyone says. The template for all the standard horror, murder mystery, and psychological thriller stories to come.
Personally, though, I could have done without the "it's just a story" trick. From this to "The Wizard Of Oz" to "The Princess Bride", that angle has never worked for me.
I have this on DVD, so I have not watched it here. I did, however wish to share this: it is a phenomenal movie that is so original and well-executed that it most certainly deserves viewing!
I personally enjoyed the impressionistic settings, and how the psyches of the characters were so thoroughly explored. I can still remember everyones eyes from this movie.
For sure a 5-star film. Many thanks to the Internet Archive folks!
September 4, 2006 Subject:
the doctor is in-sane
twists and turns. thats whats in store for you when you enter the world of francis. we first meet him in an alcove of an asylum where he is in conversation with a fellow visitor(francis is visiting his beloved)as francis begins the story of how his beloved bacame interred within an asylum ,we are introduced to the world of his antogonist - dr. caligari. caligaris world is filled with multiple juxtapositions. the scenery is askew , doors , windows , buildings , even hills are presented extremely angular , the mannerisms of people are slightly odd , and the plotline weaves in and out leaving no time for questioning the areas that dont seem to make complete sense until the twist ending. the old man that francis is telling the story to , realizing that he has been conversing the entire time with an inmate , and has listened to a tale woven more than likely on the spot , is a beautifully captured moment of reaction you can actually follw his flow of thought as he understands that the hero of the tale he has just heard is not only lying about everything , but has done it so convincingly that the reality of where he is and whom he is with , scares him only a little more than it does us .highly recommended. if you can , get a hold of the color-tinted version , as it plays at a more normal speed, there are less jumps and cuts , and it is visually clearer. intrigue--insanity--mystery--they all await you--, and the doctor is in.
Reviewer:Christine Hennig -
September 1, 2006 Subject:
Spotting the Loony Is Sometimes Not So Easy
This landmark German expressionist film set the tone for horror for years to come. A strange doctor comes to a village fair with a "somnambulist" who tells fortunes. Soon after his arrival, strange murders start happening. A young man solves the mystery by discovering that the doctor is the head of a local insane asylum and is using a strange cabinet to carry out the experiments of an 18th-century crazed monk named Caligari in controlling the behavior of a catatonic patient, including making the patient commit murder. The young man calls on the law to confront the mad doctor Caligari, who ends up locked up in his own asylum, raving mad. But the story is told in the young man's flashbackÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂand he turns out to be the insane one! This is one weird film, especially for its time. Especially weird are the bizarre, twisted setsÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂeverything that should be straight and rectangular (such as walls, doors, windows, etc.) is instead slanted and curved at wacked-out angles. This adds to the nightmarish quality of the film, which is also enhanced by the fact that you can't tell the sane from the insane half the time. A recommended early landmark in weirdness. A 1919 German film.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: *****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: *****.
Reviewer:PINK FLOYD FAN -
August 30, 2006 Subject:
ONE OF THE BEST EVER
ALTHOUGH RUN VERY FAST COMPARED TO MOST VERSIONS , ITS STILL ONE OF THE BEST SILENT FILMS EVER. IT FARES FAVORABLY ALONGSIDE ANY OTHERS FROM THE SAME ERA . RECOMMEND THE KINO VERSION . IF YOU LIKED THIS FILM , CHECK OUY THE STUDENT OF PRAGUE (SAME 2 LEAD ACTORS) , OR ANY MOVIE FROM DIRECTOR FRITZ LANG .
October 28, 2005 Subject:
Dr. Caligari build his dream kitchen cabinets? ;-)
I agree with other reviewers that the tinted version is to be preferred, but I think that the films impact goes far beyond subtle colors. The sets are especially spectacular examples of German Expressionism.
October 27, 2005 Subject:
Write review for Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
September 25, 2005 Subject:
Where's the colour?
I know that this is a black and white movie, but what happened to the tinting, the original version had?
But anyway, apart from that little thing it's a really good print.
August 8, 2005 Subject:
Way too short of a review for such a great film:
A chilling film, both in immaculate set design and in several unforgettable scenes. You'll never be more scared by a pair of eyes than when Cesare the Somnambulist first wakes up and, ever-so-slowly, opens them wider and wider. That scene alone sells the whole movie. Forget about the artistic ground that was broken with the expressionism in this film and just watch it to see some other-worldly chills. And even though the ending wasn't what the director originally wanted, I think you'll be surprised by it, and I think you'll agree that it works.
July 18, 2005 Subject:
I've seen a number of prints of "Caligari", and they're all about 65 minutes long. But this one is a mere 50!
However, you won't find any scenes missing; when they created this version for American audiences in 1952, Film Renters/Famous Films just speeded up the frame rate, and then timed the music to that! So... if you're running short on time, this is the version to watch. ;-)
But to be fair, it's a great print, and one of the most complete I've seen, short of the restored editions.
Reviewer:tracey pooh -
July 18, 2005 Subject:
brilliant beginning for horror
wow! this takes me back to my
german film history
class in college 8-)
while it's not what we're normally accustomed to, format-wise, today, after a few minutes you forget all about that and get right into the well done story and creepiness!